|Padmanabha Swamy Temple,Thiruvananthapuram,www.trekearth.com|
|reclaining posture, 3 views.padmanabaswamytemple.wordpress.co|
them grants for daily pooja rituals, temple festivals and annual maintenance. The state of Kerala is not an exception and there are numerous impressive temples across the state; each one is unique in its own way.
Sri Padmanabha swamy Temple of Thiruvanantha Puram in Kerala is a popular Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is the richest Hindu temple in the world and in the recorded history of the world it is the wealthiest place of worship by far and has several billion dollars worth of gold jewelry, gold coins precious stones,etc. Here the Lord is in the reclining Ananthasayanam posture, lying comfortably on the coiled bed of five headed huge serpent Adisesha. Considered as one of the 108 divya desams (as cited in the early medieval Tamil literature canon of the Tamil Azhwar saints of 6th–9th centuries AD) - the holiest abodes of Vishnu, this wonderful temple attracts tourists from all over India and also from overseas. Unlike other Kerala temples that are built in Kerala style of architecture with impressive slanting roof and Koothambalam, here one can notice Dravidian style of temple architecture as you will find in neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.
The presiding deity of this temple is the ruler of the state, hence he is referred to as ''Perumal'' (ruler/king). An interesting fact that may be worthy of mention is the highest reference given to the deity by the Thiruvanthapuram Maharajah as the lord happens to be the tutelary deity of the royal family of Travancore. In the colonial days under the British Raj, this temple deity was given a special honor - 21 gun salute, a colonial tradition bestowed by the British on the rulers of princely states.
Legend has it once the lord in the guise of a naughty boy swallowed the Saligrama (a kind of stone revered by the Hindus) that was worshiped by sage Divakara. After some mischief, Lord revealed his form in reclining Anantha Sayanam posture and asked the sage to worship him in three forms - first as Shiva, second as Lord Brahma and the third as feet of Lord Vishnu - total surrender to him means ultimately one will get salvation - free from the cycle of birth and death.
In this temple the lord's idol is viewed in all three postures through three different doors. - first : one can see the face of Lord Vishnu and Siva Linga underneath his hand ; second door: one can view Brahma seated on lotus and Utsava moorthi and idols of Maha Vishnu , Sridevi and Bhudevi; and third door: one can see the Lord's feet.
Idols in this temple are also seen in all three postures, reclining, sitting or standing. While the main idol inside the sanctum sanctorum (Sri Kovil or Garbagraha) is viewed from three doors in a reclining posture, the idol viewed from the central door is in a standing posture and the Utsava Murthi is in a sitting posture.
Yet another awe inspiring feature is the entire Sanctum is carved out of one big block of rock - Ottakkal Mandapam. The huge stone idol in sanctum is made of 10008 Saligrams specially taken from the banks of the river Gandaki in the foot hills of Nepal.They are plastered with a unique Ayurvedic mix called Katusarkara yogam.
|Padmanabha Swamy Temple. Thiruvananthapurwww.thekerala.com|
The Navaratri festival and laksha deepam, which means lighting of one hundred thousand (or one lakh) lamps are important festivals associated with this temple.